Prior Written Notice (PWN) in Special Education

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California Education Code § 56500.4 requires that school districts must provide prior written notice (PWN) to "parents or guardians of an individual with exceptional needs, or to the parents or guardians of a child upon initial referral for assessment, and a reasonable time before the public agency proposes to initiate or change, or refuses to initiate or change, the identification, assessment, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child."

PWN must include the following information:

(1) A description of the action proposed or refused by the public agency.

(2) An explanation of why the public agency proposes or refuses to take the action.

(3) A description of each assessment procedure, assessment, record, or report the public agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action.

(4) A statement that the parents of an individual with exceptional needs have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for assessment, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained.

(5) Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part.

(6) A description of other options that the individualized education program team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected.

(7) A description of other factors that are relevant to the proposal or refusal of the agency.

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